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Petrol Pump Price Hits N300 Per Litre, Nigerians Groan

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By Punch Reporters

The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, grew worse across the country on Thursday, as massive queues were witnessed in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Warri, Nasarawa, Minna, among other places.

Oil marketers stated that the scarcity became worse due to the fact that dealers could hardly access the product from the only two depots that were dispensing the commodity in Lagos State as of Thursday.

The few filling stations, particularly those of independent marketers, that dispensed the commodity on Thursday, sold it at between N250/litre and N300/litre, depending on area of purchase.

Oil marketers told our correspondent that over 1,000 tickets, belonging to marketers which had paid for products, remained unattended to, at the few depots that dispense the commodity in Lagos.

It was gathered that the tickets, which were for over 1,000 tankers, had continued to pile up due to the pressure on the two depots, namely MRS and Pinnacle.

It was also gathered that the cost of petrol could have been increased quietly by the Federal Government, as stations that used to sell the approved price of N179 – N180/litre had raised their prices to between N185 – N190/litre.

Scarcity hits Abuja

The scarcity in Abuja was worse on Thursday, as virtually all retail outlets belonging to independent marketers were shut, while only few stations belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and major marketers dispensed PMS.

But the very few outlets that dispensed products were greeted with massive queues of motorists who spent hours waiting to buy petrol.

Commenting on the issue, the Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, said the concerns in the downstream sector would continue to linger as long as the government remained the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria.

He said, “The Federal Government, through NNPC, is the only one importing this product and it is subsidising it. And they don’t have the facility to store the product.

“Some time ago we complained about this because when they store in private depots, the price is hiked and some of the depots continue to exploit the masses arbitrarily.

“However, as it is now, the government is bringing in products. But the issue now is that virtually all the depots that belong to major marketers in Apapa axis of Lagos are empty. So there is now pressure on MRS and Pinnacle depots where NNPC drop products.”

Shuaibu added, “So, there are over 1,000 tickets of marketers who have paid to have their trucks loaded, but we don’t know what is happening. Today they will tell you that they are upgrading the system, tomorrow you will hear that the system did not capture.”

He said tickets were piling and “you know that it takes much time to transport this product from the South to the North. Some trucks spend one month, especially when they have problems on the road, others spend two to three weeks.”

The IPMAN official called on the Federal Government to do something about this, adding that it must be done fast.

When asked why were other depots in Apapa and in other locations not selling products, Shuaibu stated that pipeline vandalism, depot upgrade and other issues were the reasons.

He said, “Last time we complained that some depots were exploiting us, and the depots argued that the cost of moving products from one end of their facility to another had Increased, as well as other issues. So we can’t tell whether that is another reason why NNPC stopped supplying some of these depots.

“Things were not worse like this before. As I’m talking to you now, some of our tickets have been there for close to a month. I did payment since but I can’t load. And the story is the same across their 21 depots. We can’t load.”

Meanwhile, Shuabu stated that unconfirmed information on the official pump price of PMS that filtered in on Thursday evening was that the government had quietly raised the cost of petrol.

“I cannot confirm it yet, but we are hearing that they have quietly increased the pump price of petrol, because major marketers in Lagos who used to sell at N179 – N180/litre, are now selling at N185 – N190/litre,” he stated.

Also speaking on the issue, the Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, said another reason for the scarcity was the changes being done by NNPC in terms of payment for products by marketers.

He said, “NNPC has moved independent marketers from PPMC Marketers Express to the NNPC Retail portal. That NNPC Retail portal is where marketers will be able to buy their products. However, they told us that the portal is in place now.

“Another concern is that they (NNPC) are also having an issue with the remittance, which, according to them, has been resolved. But the impact of these issues will definitely be felt and it will take some time to clear.

“Marketers are calling on NNPC to supply products to some of the depots where independent marketers can access them since most NNPC depots are not functional because of pipeline vandalism.”

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MoneyMaster PSB Promotes Mobile Wallet at Ojude Oba Festival

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MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank Limited (MMPSB), a leading payment service bank, is attending the 2024 Ojude Oba Festival to promote its mobile wallet, which simplifies banking transactions in the country.

The Payment Service bank is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and insured by NDIC to promote financial inclusion in furtherance of the Nigerian financial literacy initiative driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria. With Moneymaster, Nigerians can open mobile wallets, savings account, individual and business accounts to make payments, buy airtime, pay utility bills to over 4,000 companies.

It was recently appointed a payment partner to the Ounje Eko initiative by the Lagos State government in its bid to provide discounted food items to residents of the state amidst rising cost of food items. Moneymaster is positioned to support individuals and businesses in their journeys towards financial prosperity by offering bespoke financial services that meet their aspirations.

In a press release issued at the weekend, Moneymaster said it is rounding off a month-long market activation, engaging indigenes and residents of Ijebuland to come onboard its digital banking platform – mobile wallet. Moneymaster mobile wallet avails customers the opportunity to transfer or withdraw cash from an agent, buy airtime and pay utility bills.

It added that during this month-long activation, customers in Ijebuland who open an account stand a chance of winning free airtime amongst other gift items.

The PSB further said that the drive towards a cashless economy can become a reality when more and more Nigerians embrace mobile wallet so as to help them cultivate a more convenient savings habit and also enable them engage in banking transactions with ease.

“While we rejoice with the people of Ijebuland at this time, we also want to showcase what we have in Moneymaster’s mobile wallet that can help various people to enjoy seamless banking from their phones”, the statement said.

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MultiChoice Obeys Court Order, Makes Downward Review of Subscription Cost

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Following a court order mandating it to halt the move to hike prices, MultiChoice has readjusted its subscription rates for DStv and GOtv users in Nigeria.

The company had vowed to challenge the order of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal’s ruling in Abuja after reporting a decline in its subscriber base in Nigeria, leading to the loss of over a million subscribers.

MultiChoice has reflected the readjustment on its company’s apps as at Sunday, June 16, 2024.

Due to the adjustments, DStv subscribers will now pay N29,500 instead of N37,000 for the Premium package, while Compact+ package subscribers can now pay N19,800 instead of the new price of N25,000.

The readjustment now have Compact Bouquet subscribers paying N12,500 previously being charged instead of N15,700, while Confam package subscribers will pay the old price of N7,400 instead of N9,300 per month.

For the Yanga package subscribers, old rate of N4,200 will be paid against N5,100 placed as new rate; while Padi subscribers will pay the former price of N2,950 instead of the N3,600.

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Record Financial Performance: Fidelity Bank Plc Promotes 11% of Workforce

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Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc has announced the promotion of 11% of its workforce, a testament to the exceptional performance and dedication of its employees.
This significant move follows the release of the bank’s 2023 full year Audited Financial Statements, which reported an impressive 131.5 percent growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N124.26 billion.
The recent promotions span every level within the bank, reflecting Fidelity Bank Plc’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding excellence across its entire organization. This strategic initiative has garnered positive reactions from staff members, who see it as a validation of their hard work and contribution to the bank’s remarkable financial achievements.
In addition to the promotions, Fidelity Bank Plc has also concluded arrangements to raise a total of N127.1 billion through a Rights Issue to existing shareholders and a Public Offer. This move is part of the bank’s broader strategy to strengthen its capital base, support future growth, and enhance shareholder value.
Fidelity Bank Plc’s impressive financial performance and the subsequent employee promotions highlight the bank’s robust operational strategy and its commitment to fostering a rewarding work environment. By investing in its people and ensuring their career growth, the bank continues to build a motivated and high-performing workforce.
Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8.5 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United  Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.
The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.
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